Here’s To Never Growing Up
Avril Lavigne clings to her teen years in the hazy “Here’s To Never Growing Up.”
A goading drum opens the single, setting a sloshed tone. The chorus opens the song. Her boyfriend and some of her friends are outside in the backyard. Someone had gone through her boyfriend’s CD collection and found a Radiohead album. “Creep” has been blaring for the past hour and each time they yell along with the chorus. She grabs some beer from the cooler as her boyfriend barbecues. It’s2 pmon a Tuesday afternoon and none of them have to work tomorrow. She likes having nothing to do. (“Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs/With the boom box blaring as we're falling in love/I got a bottle of whatever, but it's getting us drunk/Singing here's to never growing up.”)
He gets her a hamburger and she asks her friends if they want to go pub crawling over the weekend. It’s not like they have anything else to do. She’s known her friends since she was a teenager. Even then, they would go out and party. At 10:15 pm, she and a couple of friends would carpool to the designated bar to hang out. Ten years from now, when she’s pushing 40, she will continue to go out. (“Call up all our friends, go hard this weekend/For no damn reason, I don't think we'll ever change/Meet you at the spot, half past ten o'clock/We don't ever stop, and we're never gonna change.”)
In the pre-chorus, she wakes the next day with cramps in her legs and back. She nurses an awful hangover from Tequila, which didn’t bother her as much as when she was a teen and prepares to do it again the next evening. (“Say, won't you say forever stay/If you stay forever hey/We can stay forever young.”)
The chorus is sung again.
In the bridge, she and her friends still walk around their neighborhood, trying to get people’s attention in their cars. Whenever someone honks at them to get out of the way, they flip them off, Then, they’ll walk back to whoever’s house is the closest and drink. (“ We'll be running down the street, yelling "Kiss my ass!"/I'm like yeah whatever, we're still living like that/When the sun's going down, we'll be raising our cups/Singing, here's to never growing up/Oh whoa, oh whoa, here's to never growing up/Oh whoa, oh whoa, here's to never growing up.”)
They are out at the bar all night. They’ll get up on the tables and dance to the music. They’ll scream at the DJ and heckle the host. She’s seen people roll her eyes at her and her group of friends. She mocks them right back. She’d rather be having fun. (“We live like rock stars, dance on every bar/This is who we are, I don't think we'll ever change (hell no!)/They say just grow up, but they don't know us/We don't give a fuck, and we're never gonna change.”)
The pre-chorus, chorus and bridge are all sung twice.
At the end, she “whoa’s” and makes a toast to their eternal youth. (“ Oh whoa, oh whoa, here's to never growing up/Oh whoa, oh whoa, (yeah raise your glass and say) here's to never growing up/Oh whoa, oh whoa, (da de da de da) here's to never growing up (no we're never growing up)/Oh whoa, oh whoa, here's to never growing up.”)
Lavigne’s stoned, contemptous vocals are unsteady, wobbling from one pitch to the next, leaving notes to be cut and spliced together. She’s a happy drunk, rambling on about the stuff she and her friends used to pull in high school. However, she’s too old for her behavior.
The Radiohead reference emphasizes how clueless and ridiculous she has become. Pre-Ok Computer, Radiohead was the type of the music to wallow in about alienation and post-OK Computer, there aren’t any choruses to shout out. Naming the band isn’t going to give her any credibility or make her cool again.
The delusional “Here’s To Never Growing Up” can’t deal with getting older.
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